The pandemic, a brutal snowstorm, and a dicey economy have been no match for local restaurateurs, who continue to unveil debuts despite these seemingly unbeatable challenges.
This edition of CultureMap's monthly Where to Eat feature spotlights five newcomers, all recently opened in and around the Fort Worth area.
Here's where to eat in March:
New Black-owned restaurant in Arlington is open morning, noon, and night but, as the name implies, the emphasis is on breakfast, served all day. The other part of the name is also right on: It's owned by brothers Rickey and Chris Booker, who started out with a food truck, then upgraded to this brick-and-mortar. Their menu includes omelets, waffles, and pancakes, along with more creative fare such as catfish & grits and French toast with a salmon filet. For lunch and dinner, there's a lobster roll, po' boy sandwiches, fried ribs, and more.
Delucca Gaucho Pizza & Wine
Family-run mini-chain takes a creative approach to pizza, serving it churrascaria-style with bottomless slices of wood-fired oven pizza delivered by roaming gauchos. Varieties include shrimp and fontina, Turkish lamb, and classic pepperoni. The fixed price also gets you an arugula salad, meatballs, lobster bisque, and dessert pizzas such as gorgonzola and honey. They just opened their fourth location at 3010 South Hulen St., in the former Bravo Italian Kitchen spot, but it's their first to offer a la carte items including Prime and Wagyu steaks, salads, and seafood dishes.
Chef Jesus Garcia turned his Fort Worth ghost kitchen into a full-on ramen restaurant, opening the second brick-and-mortar location of Kintaro in the same space at 2801 West 7th St. that his previous ramen restaurant, Oni Ramen, was located. Mirroring the original Kintaro in Arlington, the menu is small, comprised of six varieties of ramen, along with a handful of appetizers and small plates. There's also a rotating monthly ramen special. For March, it’s kimchi ramen, made with bacon, kimchi, chicken broth, spicy lard, and fried oyster.
Wicho's House Restaurant
Mom-and-pop restaurant in North Richland Hills decided to relocate after finding a more visible location in Grapevine, in a small strip center at 2100 W. Northwest Hwy., #207. Their expansive menu offers a little something for everyone's tastes, from pasta to Caesar salad to charbroiled burgers made with Angus beef on brioche buns. But the dominant cuisine is Mexican with a full selection of Tex-Mex standards: nachos, enchiladas, burritos, fajitas, and tacos, including cheesy birria tacos, the current trendy must-have. Ready to serve whatever you need, they're also open for breakfast with French toast, avocado toast, waffles, and six kinds of pancakes including one with chocolate and bananas.
Exciting newcomer to Fort Worth is a small, fast-casual family-run restaurant chain specializing in food from Laos and Thailand that originated on Greenville Avenue in Dallas in 2018. Their goal is to spread the joy of Laotian food, with its higher, bolder level of spice. Their menu includes sizzling Lao sausage, heavenly beef jerky, and crispy wings. A quintessential dish is their pineapple fried rice, combining ingredients savory and sweet: egg, cashews, pineapple, raisins, peas, carrots, onion, tomato, and garlic. They're located in the WestBend shopping center, taking over the old Pop Bar space.